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Shrimp and Barley Risotto + Weekly Menu

Happy Monday morning! An oxymoron, no doubt. Especially when Michiganders spend the whole weekend playing in the sunshine.

Our babysitter canceled on us for Friday night so we packed up the kids for FAMILY date night. Can you sense my excitement via text? Exactly. But, we made the best of it…until we were seated between 2 romantic-y (looking) couples at a new restaurant who was working out a few kinks (i.e. slow). As soon as we placed our food order Shea was wondering where the food was. Sigh.

We did not resort to phones and YouTube (so tempting, however) and we made it through the meal with only a few ounces of my beer getting spilled. Small victories. One table didn’t seem fazed by us and the other gave up on their quiet night and started chatting up our kids.

Mark wanted to run a 5K Saturday morning which thankfully didn’t start until 10:30am. We made our way to the start to watch him run and he crushed it – sub 7 minute/mile pace. So we were back home in no time before heading back out to watch a parade. The girls loved it and unfortunately took in too much sun. Their little cheeks are so red. Parenting fail.

Sunday was t-ball after playing hooky from church. I was feeling so very out of the Cinco spirit and so we went from t-ball to have a patio beer, quesadilla, and nachos – because we’re the classiest like that. I did not plan my menu well last week – we had just had fajitas and enchiladas take way too much kitchen time on a beautiful spring day. So, I refused 😊

So not that Cinco de Mayo has come and gone, it seems more appropriate to post a spring-y recipe that the whole family enjoyed. A one pot dish that came recommended from a coworker (and her 18-month-old son). A little ironic that barley is an under-appreciated gluten-containing grain that I rarely use that just so happens to coincide with our latest podcast, Gluten-Free in the Kitchen. But hey, there’s a little bit for everyone going on! Enjoy!

Shrimp and Barley Risotto
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings (scant 2 cups each)
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced, plus ¼ cup fronds
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1½ cups (~8 oz) quick-cooking pearl barley
  • 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1¼ lbs raw, peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ½ tsp grated lemon zest, plus 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fennel, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the barley, cook 1-2 minutes, allowing the barley to absorb the flavors.
  2. Add the chicken broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the barley is tender but still a bit saucy, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Uncover and stir in the shrimp and peas. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter until melted. Stir in the Parmesan and 2 tablespoons fennel fronds. Divide among bowls and top with the remaining fennel fronds.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: scant 2 cups Calories: 448 Fat: 13.8 Carbohydrates: 52.3 Sugar: 3.5 Sodium: 975 Fiber: 8.3 Protein: 30.0 Cholesterol: 194

Weekly Menu: May 5th – 9th

Be well,

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